|Index||4 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Adoor Gopalakrishnan weaves magic as he spells out the story of a man
in jail. The story follows him and all that happen to him as he meets a
woman on the other side of the wall separating their jails (men and
women). Neither has seen each other, nor do they know much about the
other, but they end up gaining a connection although separated by the
Mammooty plays to perfection the role of a man in jail. His expressions, his friends, his good nature, all perfectly. The symbolism of the tale is excellent. The wall symbolizes both unity and separation. It is only through the wall that two people met. yet, it is that same wall that keeps them apart. Characterization is key and the ending is open and for you to decide what will happen.
All i can say is :"Mastery of storytelling"
Cinema is an absolutely fantastic medium to reveal a new literature,a new author or a new vision.It is from this point of view one must consider Malayalam language film 'Mathilukal'-A feature film directed by Kerala's most famous director Adoor Gopalakrishnan which had some success in the west especially in some big as well as small film festivals.There is also a book of the same name written by one of Kerala's acclaimed writers V.M.Basheer.It is nice to learn that the film is not a direct copy of the book.This has helped in retaining its original charm as director Adoor Gopalakrishnan chose to integrate his own personal vision to the project.In many ways,he has succeeded in deserving the success but there are many instances where this film lacks seriousness and fails to convey anything substantial.By casting Mammootty to play the role of Basheer,Adoor achieved an artistic coup of sorts as the actor has massive fan following.However,the presentation of the film leaves a lot to be desired especially in the manner comedy has been infused through the film.This is a big disappointment as it robs the film of conveying its message in a poetic manner.
In 1942, Basheer, a noted writer in Kerala, South India,
imprisoned by the British Government for "treason", i.e.
the exit of the British. Sentenced to 2-1/2 years, he was
early by an amnesty. This movie depicts his months within the
And how lacking in incident or interest those months were! Mostly he passes the time smoking, walking about the yard, growing roses, scribbling, and talking with the other prisoners. (The politicals wear white hats, the murderers red, and all others black.) Everyone has heard of him, and he is cheerful to everyone, occasionally offering spiritual advice (like admonishing a guard for stealing his petty property). He is given small presents by the guards and other prisoners--cigarettes, tea, dried fish, writing paper. He meets an old classmate, who was whipped and shackled for petty disobedience, but this is the worst brutality he encounters. His political conversations are equally shallow, consisting mostly of gossip about "Gandhiji", and singing anthems. It is never revealed what he is writing in prison, though his guards request autographed copies of it when it is published. (Other prison writings have included Marco Polo's Travels, Don Quixote, and Mein Kampf, but nothing of that caliber appears here.) When all political prisoners except Basheer are amnestied, he goes into a bit of a funk, but perks up by having bland conversations with an unseen female prisoner beyond the wall in the women's cells. Just before he can meet her by faking illness, he is suddenly released.
Now, drama is built on conflict; but all the conflict in this film is offstage. Basheer is played by Mammootty, an immensely popular Indian actor (almost 300 films!), who has the easy charm of George Clooney, as well as his physical presence. (The latter jars when he speaks of having frequently known hunger.) Other than his old schoolmate, no other character even has a backstory beyond the name of the crime they were sent in for. Perhaps the roses were symbolic, perhaps the wall that blocked his view of the women. But I found very little mental or emotional nourishment to feed on in this movie.
His Divine Grace Very Great and Honorable Mr. Adoor Gopalakrishnan has an art of its own.
I saw His Divine Grace for first time in Houston International Film Festival in year 2000.
We watched the movie at Houston Museum of Fine Arts with a audience of less than 50.
It is really a work of art...
I would request His Divine Grace to consider making something for rich people... like "Music Room" by His Divine Grace Late Satyajit Ray...
His Divine Grace is in press this week -- India Today.
I still believe His Divine Grace deserve more attention than he is getting in Bombay and New Delhi...
Thanks and Regards.
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